Joe Exotic, who's real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is currently one of the most popular figures in the world due to the Netflix show Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. The show is ranked No. 1 on Netflix in the U.S., and Joe Exotic is a big reason why due to his unique style, his country songs and the fact he had his own exotic zoo in Oklahoma. But the one thing fans may not know about Joe Exotic is that he has ties to professional wrestling.
How did that happen? Joe Exotic ran his own YouTube channel which featured live shows from his GW Exotic Zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. That led to him being a commentator for the NWA promotion, Texoma Wrestling, which also led to him hosting pro wrestling events at his zoo. The broadcasts were produced by Joe Exotic and he would use his own country music videos to start each broadcast and when the show would come to an end.
Joe Exotic is not broadcasting any more wrestling shows, or any show for that matter, because he's currently serving a 22-year prison sentence on multiple charges including murder-plot-for-hire and illegally selling tiger cubs. However, Joe Exotic loves that fact he's becoming famous, according to Tiger King co-directors and writers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin.
"He is absolutely ecstatic about the series and the idea of being famous," Goode said to the Los Angeles Times after revealing that they had been in touch with him quite a bit over the last few weeks. "He's absolutely thrilled. I think he's trying to be an advocate for — no surprise — criminal justice reform. He is in a cage and of course he's gonna say that he now recognizes what he did to these animals."
Chaiklin added, "He's over the moon. Having kept in pretty close touch with him while he's been in a horrible county prison, this has raised his spirits. Joe definitely did some horrible things to his animals. He was very abusive to them, and he shot five tigers, no question about it. But what has happened to him has also been hard."